Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 11, 2014

“I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.”

Today’s devotion comes from Numbers 22:15-21.

“15 Then Balak again sent leaders, more numerous and more distinguished than the former.  16 They came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, ‘Let nothing, I beg you, hinder you from coming to me;  17 for I will indeed honor you richly, and I will do whatever you say to me.  Please come then, curse this people for me.’”  18 Balaam replied to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the Lord my God.  19 Now please, you also stay here tonight, and I will find out what else the Lord will speak to me.”  20 God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you shall you do.”

21 So Balaam arose in the morning, and saddled his donkey and went with the leaders of Moab.”  Numbers 22:15-21.

——————

Balaam’s reply to the servants of Balak reminds us of the sovereignty of God.  Balaam may have been willing to satisfy Balak by cursing Israel for a number of different reasons.  Balaam may not have been a “fan” of Israel.  Balaam may have feared what Balak would do to him if he refused.  Balaam may have desired all the wealth that Balak could give him if he complied.  Balaam may have generally viewed cursing as not that difficult of a thing to do.  But, in summary, it is not a question of “would”;  it is a question of “could”.  “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not do anything, either small or great, contrary to the command of the Lord my God.”  Verse 18.

God’s sovereignty, specifically over our enemies, should bring us comfort.

Here is some of what the Psalms states.

“Arise, O Lord;  save me, O my God!  For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked.”  Psalm 3:7

“All my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed; They shall turn back, they will suddenly be ashamed.”  Psalm 6:10

“I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, And I am saved from my enemies.”  Psalm 18:3

“He delivers me from my enemies;  Surely You lift me above those who rise up against me;  You rescue me from the violent man.”  Psalm 18:48

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;  You have anointed my head with oil;  My cup overflows.”  Psalm 23:5

“I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.”  Psalm 30:1

“For He has delivered me from all trouble, And my eye has looked with satisfaction upon my enemies.”  Psalm 54:7

“Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;  This I know, that God is for me.”  Psalm 56:9

“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me;  You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.”  Psalm 138:7

Here is some of what the Heidelberg Catechism states.

Question 1.  What is thy only comfort in life and death?

Answer.  That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with his precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head;  yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto him. 

Question 28.  What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence doth still uphold all things?

Answer.  That we may be patient in adversity; thankful in prosperity; and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from his love; since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they cannot so much as move.

Question 51.  What profit is this glory of Christ, our head, unto us?

Answer.  First, that by his Holy Spirit he pours our heavenly graces upon us his members;  and then that by his power he defends and preserves us against all enemies.

Question 52.  What comfort is it to thee that “Christ shall come again to judge the quick and the dead”?

 Answer.  That in all my sorrows and persecutions, with uplifted head I look for the very same person, who before offered himself for my sake, to the tribunal of God, and has removed all curse from me, to come as judge from heaven:  who shall cast all his and my enemies into everlasting condemnation, but shall translate me with all his chosen ones to himself, into heavenly joys and glory.


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